Economic units

Business statistics are produced on the basis of the data of economically active entities. However, not all economic units in legal registers are actively operating.

The statistical subject matter domain of economic units involves:

  • identifying economically active entities;
  • specifying statistical units for producing official statistics;
  • classifying economic entities on the basis of international standards.

In order to produce business statistics, Statistics Estonia keeps a business register for statistical purposes. Its data are obtained from the commercial register, non-profit associations and foundations register, register of taxable persons, and state register of state and local government institutions. In addition to legal registers, other data sources are used, such as the data of the Tax and Customs Board as well as statistical and financial reports.

All registered units are entered into the statistical register for business purposes. At the end of each year, the units active during the year are selected, including those that were active for only a part of the year.

This information is used, for example, for statistics on enterprise groups and business demography, but also for research and analyses on the economy.

The data of economic units belonging to multinational enterprise groups are used to update the EuroGroups Register (EGR).

Statistics Estonia publishes the data of economically active units by:

  • economic activity;
  • legal form;
  • type of owner;
  • size group;
  • region.
Economically active enterprises 145,717
2021
Economically active non-profit associations 42,122
2021
Economically active foundations 701
2021
Government institutions 189
2021
Local government institutions 1,875
2021
All-resident enterprise groups 4,789
2021
Domestically controlled multinational enterprise groups 880
2021
Foreign controlled enterprise groups 2,254
2021
Enterprises by number of employees and economic activity | 2021
Economic units by legal form | 2021
Economically active enterprises and non-profit institutions by legal form, years | 2017 – 2021
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total 157,757 174,008 176,754 181,930 190,604
Sole proprietor 24,070 23,035 21,965 20,890 19,682
General partnership 116 105 94 164 105
Limited partnership 482 435 514 1,440 696
Private limited company 99,908 105,146 108,376 112,727 122,516
Public limited company 2,484 2,399 2,315 2,240 2,199
Commercial association 313 296 286 280 280
Societas Europaea 8 6 7 8 8
Branch of foreign company 241 228 227 231 231
Non-profit association 26,857 39,305 40,044 41,141 42,122
Foundation 670 676 686 682 701
Government institution 238 208 187 190 189
Local government institution 2,370 2,169 2,053 1,937 1,875

Economically active enterprises by type of owner | 2014 – 2021
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Owners total 113,765 117,398 120,450 127,622 131,650 133,784 137,980 145,717
State 66 74 70 61 61 66 60 65
Local government 206 207 197 191 200 177 149 145
Estonian person in private law 106,012 109,232 111,823 117,190 119,475 120,827 125,278 130,529
Foreign person in private law 7,481 7,885 8,360 10,180 11,914 12,714 12,493 14,978

Economically active enterprises by number of employees | 2014 – 2021
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total 113,765 117,398 120,450 127,622 131,650 133,784 137,980 145,717
250 and more 191 195 196 194 186 184 172 177
50-249 1,162 1,200 1,184 1,150 1,172 1,159 1,156 1,122
10-49 5,874 6,281 6,293 6,391 6,548 6,779 6,509 6,284
Less than 10 106,538 109,722 112,777 119,887 123,744 125,662 130,143 138,134

Blog

One in five e-residents register a business in Estonia

Since 2014, 73,400 foreign citizens have become e-residents of Estonia. 20% of these e-residents have participated in founding a business and over 14,200 businesses have been registered in Estonia with their participation. We looked into where e-residents come from and what are the activities of their Estonian enterprises.
Read more 3. November 2020